Sheffield campaigners tackling youth violence and drugs have been nominated for a top diversity award
Sheffield-based campaign group Mums United which tackles youth violence and drugs is in the running for a national award.
Mums United was founded by trustee chairperson Sahira Irshad and is a charity led by mothers in the Sharrow, Nether Edge and Meersbrook areas tackling youth violence and drug exploitation and its mantra has been to learn, listen, engage, raise awareness, nurture the young and not give up hope.
The charity which holds clubs, workshops and activities for youngsters and has been involved in marches and demonstrations has now been nominated for an honour at the National Diversity Awards 2021 for its outstanding community work.
Ms Irshad said: “Just to be nominated is amazing. The whole team is really surprised and shocked and humbled that people have written such lovely things about us.
"As mothers we are doing the best for our children by safeguarding them and providing a voice to mothers who do not always get heard.”
The charity grew out of mums’ concerns about the rising levels of youth violence and it provide workshops and activities which have included police, community members, the local MP, the council and Sheffield Wednesday FC to help tackle problems.
Those with concerns have been able to talk about issues from knife crime to mental illness as well as youngsters’ adverse childhood experiences and the root causes of problems.
Ms Irshad added: “We want everyone who is affected by knife and gun violence to know that we are here for them and that they are not alone in their struggle.”
Youth violence programmes and sessions have been held in communities and schools and the charity aims to instil coping mechanisms and strategies.
Some members have sadly been targeted by gangs but the charity has remained resolute in its fight to ensure greater safety and a better way of life for youngsters.
Organised activities for youngsters have also included archery, basketball, arts projects, creative writing, podcasts, football, police community sessions, discussions and online games workshops, and the group also provides a charitable bank, food and clothing for those in need.
Mums have involved themselves in neighbourhood patrols talking with youngsters and have joined walks for peace and demonstrations against gang violence.
The charity has brought women from different races, ethnicity and faiths together in a common cause to address difficult issues to keep children safe and it has been praised for its energy, compassion, commitment and bravery.
The National Diversity Awards 2021 presentation ceremony is due to take place at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, on February 4, 2022.
Those interested in finding out more about the charity or making donations to help with running costs, workshops and community events can do so by visiting the charity’s website www.mums-united.com.
Ms Irshad was the first British Asian to win the Inspirational Women of Sheffield Awards and Neighbourhood and Enviromental Champion award 2019 held by BBC Radio and South Yorkshire Community Foundation.
Mums United also adapted well to the Covid-19 pandemic transferring its work online and it has formed the BAMER Covid 19 ACTION group circulating 5,000 information packs to the vulnerable.
Ms Irshad said: “We remain firm in our stance that we will always provide a voice for the voiceless. We will always strive for a brighter future for our young.”